The Mets hit three home runs, two off Max Scherzer, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Nationals, 5-4, in the first of a four-game series.
One of the big hopes for this season was with Terry Collins no longer in the dugout that we would get away from the matchup masturbation. But we saw it in a horrible way yet again in this game. Steven Matz gave up two homers to Anthony Rendon and Mickey Callaway decided he wasn’t going to let him serve up a third one.
He came out with a hook after Matz retired the first batter in the seventh. And it was obvious that Tim Peterson was going to face Rendon and Jerry Blevins was going to face Bryce Harper. Meanwhile, Harper was 0-3 against Matz.
Rendon got an infield hit and sure enough, Blevins came in to face Harper.
But anyone who’s been paying attention knows that Blevins has no special ability to retire Harper. Coming into tonight, Harper had an .895 lifetime OPS in the majors. But he had an 1.103 OPS against Blevins.
Harper hit a two-run homer to give the Nats a three-run lead. Harper now has three XBH and 4 BB in 16 PA against Blevins. Can we please, pretty please, not think of Blevins as some kind of weapon to use against Harper? And the same thing applies to Freddie Freeman, too.
Sure, it’s not a huge sample. But Harper has the sixth-most PA against Blevins of any active player. And it’s not like Blevins has been great this season. There was no reason to actively seek out this matchup. But Callaway did and it turned out to be the difference in the game.
You can say that it’s not fair to judge Callaway because his big guns are on the DL. But we can judge him on things like this. Not saying this is a reason to fire him. But when we’re putting things in the “Pro” and “Con” columns – this needs to go down as a con.